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Game Info:

Anna's Quest
Developed by: Krams Designs, Daedalic Entertainment
Published by: Daedalic Entertainment
Released: July 2, 2015
Available on: Windows, Mac
Genre: Adventure
Number of players: 1
Price: $19.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you, Daedalic Entertaiment, for sending us this game to review!

What would you do if someone you loved very much suddenly fell ill? How far would you travel to look for a cure? Would your objective change if you discover your loved one became ill because of you? And finally, how would you answer these questions if you were a 10-year-old girl? In "Anna's Quest," that's exactly what you'll have to do.

The game was designed and illustrated by the Australian artist Dane Krams, who also created the little-known – but amusing – Web comic Procrastoonation. You control Anna, a young girl who left home in order to find medicine for her sick grandfather. A witch kidnaps her and unlocks her apparently inherent telekinetic powers. With the company of a stuffed bear, you help Anna explore the tower to try and find a cure for whatever is afflicting Grandfather. Her quest leads her to a quiet village, a terrifying prison, and even a regal castle, and uncovers a story that goes beyond her grandfather and their humble farm.

 

Anna's Quest
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great music and graphics; excellent voice acting; fun characters and interesting story.
Weak Points: Long game that sometimes grows tedious.
Moral Warnings: Dark, fairy-tale themes; minor language

The game is wonderfully animated and detailed, with great cutscenes. The music is moody and contributes to the atmosphere nicely. Although the lip sync isn't exactly precise, the voice acting is fantastic. The controls are typical for point-and-click adventure games. The cursor changes shape when you run your mouse over objects you can interact with. You have an inventory of items you can pack around, from photographs to 10' ladders. Also, you have an additional icon, which looks like a brain, that you can click on to use your telekinetic powers on items or people. 

For everything that this game does right, though, it falls sadly short in other areas. The game is incredibly long for an adventure game, easily filling 14 to 18 hours. While this can often be a good thing, the pacing in Anna's Quest makes it feel more of a chore. Because of the nature of the game, Anna will have to do a lot of backtracking, talking to people multiple times and inspecting objects repeatedly. Sadly, some of the things you can do are blatantly obvious, but Anna refuses to do these actions until other story elements are met first. For example, in the village of Wunderhorn is a church with a stained glass window. In the alley behind the church is a tall lantern, placed perfectly behind the windows. Obviously, lighting the lantern will cause something to happen with the windows. However, even though you have everything you need to light the lantern, Anna will refuse to do so until a bunch of other steps are completed first – including examining the stained glass windows inside the church at least twice. Because of all the backtracking you have to do, the game grows tedious at times. I actually had to consult a walkthrough a couple times to solve some of the puzzles, only to discover that what I missed was a simple oversight of something I thought I had already done half an hour previously.

 

Anna's Quest
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 91%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10
+3 for emphasis on family values
+3 for good moral lessons

The storyline is littered with fairy tale themes – which, as those familiar with fairy tales can tell you, is pretty dark. There are references to cannibalism, torture, executions, witchcraft, and even an appearance from the Devil. Through it all, Anna maintains a childlike innocence and a steadfast resolve to help her grandfather, no matter the cost. If anything, it helps to reinforce the message that, no matter how dark things seem to get, those who persevere will succeed. There is a church with crosses in the game, but the church is dedicated to a "Red Dragon," which appears to serve as the local deity. Pentagrams also appear in the game, and the word "damn" is mentioned once or twice. Interestingly enough, the bad words are only spoken by the villain – the most offensive Anna gets is her repeated use of "geez."

In terms of glitches, I did run into one issue when trying to play in windowed mode. Loading the game caused the screen to consist of only the upper left corner of the gamescreen. Unable to get to the settings menu, I had to look online for tips to solve the problem. This consisted of getting into the preferences file with a text editor and manually changing the settings.

The message about family and determination is a nice one to see in the game. Anna uses her devotion to her grandfather as a motivation to endure and persevere, even in the face of aspects that would reduce most children to tears. This game would be a true delight to play and contain great inspiration, if it weren't so drawn out. Anna serves as a light in a dark world – both in the game, and when compared to modern video games, which emphasize violence and death. If you don't mind spending hours backtracking, Anna's Quest is a joy to play. 

 

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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